Scott Moritz of The Street is reporting that Apple is planning to release the long-rumored “Tablet” later this year “in time for the holidays”. Apple is still working on a sales model for the device, but it is believed that the device will be subsidized by Verizon. This partnership would lock customers into a multi-year […]
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Apple to Ship Subsidized Tablet Trough Verizon?

Scott Moritz of The Street is reporting that Apple is planning to release the long-rumored “Tablet” later this year “in time for the holidays”. Apple is still working on a sales model for the device, but it is believed that the device will be subsidized by Verizon. This partnership would lock customers into a multi-year data plan while lowering the upfront cost of the device to customers, which is expected to be pricy.

An initial version of the long-anticipated Apple tablet will be subsidized by Verizon, but Apple and Verizon “won’t be as tightly integrated” as Apple’s iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T, says one source familiar with the companies, who asked not to be named.

The notion that this device would require a subsidy would certainly fall in line with Apple’s statements that they can’t provide a quality product for $399-$499. That said, the subsidy from Verizon wouldn’t be as much as it would for smartphones, because a data-only plan doesn’t demand the same amount of money from customers each month as a data/cell plan does.

Now, as for my opinion (you know you want it). I don’t buy this for a second. Moritz has an OK reputation for correctly guessing Apple’s next move, but the problem I have with this story is the Verizon bit. Apple has said at one of their previous financial conference calls, that they liked the job AT&T was doing, besides they have a contract with them until 2010 tying the iPhone to AT&T at least that long, with rumors of extending it. So, if I were a betting man, I would wager Apple goes with AT&T if this device requires a data plan.

As for the device itself, I don’t expect it before 2010. That is what most of the rumors are pointing to. That said, a holiday release would be a very logical move for Apple. I do now believe this mythical device exists, somewhere at Apple.

Lastly TheStreet.com is a rag. The site’s owner, Jim Cramer, uses it and his Mad Money TV show to manipulate stock prices through deception. So, anything that comes from here has a strong possibility of being bunk.

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